Tuesday, April 22, 2008

danger! by the sound of arrows

I’ll have to quote ako on this one. “A review, or just another exercise in fangirling -- it's hard to say. I refuse to believe that one is more legitimate than the other1.” Of course around here we tend to lean toward the latter...it’s true. So I’ll go ahead, state the obvious for anyone who's peeked at my last.fm profile, and wear my heart on my sleeve – I love Labrador Records! At this point they’re scoring most of my fantasies, which might give you a clue as to the sort of softly lit, pastel, twee wonderlands I drift off to when I get that far away look in my eyes.

The newest addition to Labrador’s roster, The Sound of Arrows, fulfills the label’s unwritten mandate of chipper pop; think Sufjan Stevens in congress with Suburban Kids With Biblical names. Somewhere Jens Lekman nods his head in approval. The Sound of Arrows' debut EP Danger!, out May 7th, sparkles with every delicious hallmark of Swedish indie pop: playful, lush instrumentation, ethereal digital sampling2, slightly off-kilter voices...all this from a pair of twenty-year-olds who got their start attempting to sample a YouTube video. I may be youngish, but one of my biggest regrets is that I'm too old to earn the title "child prodigy." Gee guys, thanks for reminding me.

The album's clear highlight is the titular track "Danger!", the chorus repeating over and over, The night is danger baby / I feel so dangerous. So successful is this song, we're provided with four remixes. After my mini-rant about excessive indie-pop remixing, I tried to work up a bit or righteous indignation over this fact...and failed miserably. Another conviction melted by a sunny melody. A testament to the flexibility of the material, I guess3. "Danger!" is taken from a 1960s girl-boy melody (Ice Cream Shout Version), all the way a euro-disco version (Panache Remix), identity intact. No small feat.

In all, it’s a great album...wait...EP?! Five new songs and four remixes. Oh Sound of Arrows, how you tease. I bet you don’t kiss on the first date either. Lucky for us, Danger!'s booklet includes a little note from the band with the promising line, "This is only the beginning...." Their blog goes on to hint at another release in fall 2008. Until then, don't mind me, I'll be in the corner, just dreamin'.

1. You know your blog has fallen into a state of narcissistic disarray when you quote yourself as an authority.
2. Note from the CD booklet: "Some elements were borrowed. Please forgive us for that, or we'll see you in court."
3. Or the flexibility of my convictions...history will be my judge.

mp3: "Danger!" by The Sound of Arrows

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